Every time I'm about to make a questionable decision regarding Abe, I run the Dateline test:
Is this something that could possibly earn me a starring role on an episode of Dateline during which viewers across the country would exclaim things like, "What an idiot!" and "Who does that?!"?
For example, the other day I momentarily contemplated giving Abe a bite of my spicy curry lunch dish. I ran the Dateline test. The outcome? Yes, in fact that could easily earn me a spot on a Dateline episode about a mother whose child lost his taste buds from a curry burn at the age of 6 months and would never taste again. I envisioned myself weeping and sobbing to Chris Hanson, "He was screaming for food! I didn't have anything else to give him! I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO!" Needless to say, Abe was hungry and angry, but he can still taste.
Until the other day when a long car trip and low blood sugar caused an inaccurate set of Dateline test results. After 4 hours in the car, Abraham was SO finished. He wanted to get up and stretch and get naked. So I brought him into our bedroom when he got home, took off all of his clothes and blew raspberries on his belly. We laughed and giggled for a few minutes until Abe made that unmistakable poop face. When it was clear he'd finished, I took off his diaper and cleaned him up. Seeing how happy he was to be completely naked, I decided to let him enjoy his birthday suit for a while. I tickled his feet and he grabbed some of his favorite body parts; and then my hunger overcame me. I decided to run to the kitchen to get a pear. I ran the Dateline test.
Would leaving my baby on the bed pass the Dateline test?
Sure it would. I'm only going to be about 15 seconds.
Dateline test FAIL.
Before I even began walking back to my bedroom, I heard a sound no mother ever wants to hear.
It was the clearest "SPLAT" noise I've ever heard. I ran through the wall (I think) to the other side of the bed where Abe was on his belly, up on his hands, looking around like, "What the hell just happened?" I paused, he looked at me, and the following sequence of events came next:
1. Deep breath.
2. Horribly sad face.
3. Slight wimper.
4. ALL OUT SCREAM.
I grabbed him and kissed him and apologized profusely until he finished screaming a whopping 45 seconds later upon noticing the remote control on the bedside table. Ordinarily an object I try to keep away from him, I immediately grabbed it and handed it to him. All was right with the world again.
Abe left nothing to the imagination about his trip to the floor. His path was marked by the stream of pee he left like Hansel and Gretel's bread crumbs off the side of the bed. He clearly scooted and then rolled onto Floor World as noted by the pee path. Before I put him to bed that night, I ran my hands all over his head and body to ensure I couldn't feel an welts or possible broken bones. I checked his eye contact and responsiveness one more time to ensure he didn't have one of those deadly concussions. Finally when I was satiated, I put him down to sleep. I put on jammies and washed my face before slipping into bed after an exhausting day. It was only then that I realized I'd forgotten to change the sheets. And the pee was on my side. I was laying in my son's pee. I was so tired and in desperate need of rest. I contemplated moving to another bed or perhaps the couch. But you know what I finally decided to do? Put on long pants so I couldn't feel the wet. Yep. That's what I did.
There's a good chance I would have failed that one, but the ratings would be so high I'd likely get a book deal out of it so it seemed like an appropriate, if not lucrative, option.